69 Colebrooke Row
Chichi Islington has long been crying out for a neighbourhood bar that befits its well-heeled residents. What they may not realize, however, is that they’ve actually had one for some time. Tucked away off the main drag, with little in the way of exterior signage, 69 Cole- brooke Row is a delightfully intimate, wilfully under-the-radar Martini bar that has, quite rightly, become a firm favourite among those in the know. Since summer 2009, it has turned a small corner of N1 into a heaving, breathing slice of the good life – or La Dolce Vita to be precise, since it’s very much styled on the glamorous 1950s’ excesses of Fellini’s film. The brainchild of The Charles Lamb’s landlady Camille Hobby-Limon (see Pubs) and cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro (winner of International Bartender of the Year 2009), it’s an object lesson in giving people what they want; from being greeted and seated by the charismatic hostess Kim Ireland, to the arrival of a glorious cocktail in your hands (recommended is the Serafin, which combines tequila with poire liqueur and ginger beer). You’ll realise then why this is the bar with no name or sign.